How To Find The Best Betting Bonus
As seen above, bonuses come in all shapes and sizes. It’s worth mentioning, not all bonuses are created equal. Not even close. That’s why we’ve created a “cheat sheet” for you to reference when contemplating bonus offers. Search the fine print long and hard for the below terms because it’s usually a tell-tale sign for “this is too good to be true.”
Terms and Conditions
Rule number one: don’t automatically jump on offers with the largest bonus offer, think $2,500 or $1,000. While those deals jump off the page — as the savvy marketer that created them intended to do — they regularly come attached with unfavorable terms and conditions.
I know what you’re thinking, who reads that anyway? Therein lies the problem — we’ve become accustomed to automatically putting a checkmark in the terms and conditions box without fully grasping what we’re actually getting ourselves into.
So pause on clicking “I agree” and find out how much you truly have to wager before you can withdraw any of that bonus. Trust us, the higher the bonus, the more you have to bet first. Ask yourself if you really want to risk that amount.
We touched on this earlier, but it bears repeating: you must bet (a lot) before you can withdraw any of the bonus. How much exactly you have to wager is dubbed the rollover requirement.
Rollovers usually range between 5X to 15X. This number represents how much times you have to bet your bonus before you can pull out for cold-hard cash.
For instance, if the rollover is set at a modest 5X, but the sign-up bonus is 100 percent and you initially deposited $500, you’re looking at $2,500 worth of wagers before you can withdraw money on that bonus.
Some sportsbooks combine the initial deposit and sign-up bonus. In that scenario, the rollover amount doubles to $5,000 in the previous example.
You’re probably a smart guy and are thinking, why not just wager that entire rollover amount on a sure-fire game, like when Alabama football plays an FCS opponent? Surely, you can lay it all on the Tide, who will in all likelihood cruise to victory and you’ll be off the hook.
Like always, sportsbooks are a step ahead of you. These rollover requirements come attached with bare-minimum odds, or the lowest accepted odds you can wager for a bet to count toward your requirement. These odds generally range from 1/1 to 2/5.
Don’t think these rollover requirements can be met whenever. No, they usually come with a hard deadline and if the rollover isn’t accomplished by then, kiss your sign-up bonus goodbye. This tight window can force your hand into making impulsive betting decisions and that has danger written all over it.
Besides Bonuses, What Else Should I Look For in a Sportsbook?
Odds, odds, odds. At the end of the day, this why we bet — because we feel the odds are most in our favor (even though the casino/sportsbook will always have a better odds in their own right). Still, if they slip up on a game, which does happen at times, it’s on bettors to take advantage.
We’ve talked ad nauseam at how many sportsbooks proliferate the internet. On one hand, that’s overwhelming because there’s so many options. On the other hand, these sites are in a dog-fight for your attention and will lower their odds and prices to entice you. This is where a bettor’s greatest opportunity lies.
Other factors to keep top of mind when selecting a betting platform are as follows:
Betting variety: This goes without saying, but no gambler wants to be pigeon-holed to a certain sport. After all, variety is the spice of life. It’s more about multiple sports options, though, how about prop selections? Futures? Above all, you want this sportsbook to be a one-stop shop for all your betting needs.
Trustworthiness: Online sports betting can at times be seedy. That’s why it’s critical to find a sportsbook where your money will be safely stored and subsequently, can be withdrawn easily.
Deposit/Payout Methods: Piggybacking on that last bullet point, money in/out methods can make or break a sportsbook. Paying via a credit card is quicker and easier than a cashiers check. Moreover, how quickly does a betting site give you your winnings? Instantly via a wire transfer or is there a wait time on a mailed check?
Live betting option: Ever wanted to bet during a game — once you have a feel for the competing teams — instead of before? If yes, you need to find a sportsbook that utilizes live wagering. Some even have a cash-out function, which gives bettors the opportunity to close a bet before the game ends (either securing a win or cutting losses altogether). More on this option further down this section.
Best Online Sportsbooks for American Football
No sport draws more bets in the United States than football — and it’s not even close. During the Fall season, between college football and the NFL, bettors are swamped all-weekend long with games to wager on. There’s little doubt the sport owes some its popularity due to gambling.
So want in on the action, huh? Of course, you do! We’ve hand-picked some of the top sportsbooks to meet all your football wagering needs!
Earlier we spoke about the importance of trustworthiness when picking a sportsbook, well, credibility is Bovada’s middle name! This sportsbook has existed north of a decade, formerly going by the name Bodog before changing to Bovada in 2011. The platform’s long and reputable history has arguably made it the undisputed champion in online betting.
What separates Bovada from its competitors in football betting is its Match Previews section. This is a must-have tool for bettors, offering up-to-the-minute stats, team reports, standings, and other relevant information. Don’t make a bet before you dive into this feature! Believe us, the extra research will dividends for you down the line.
BetOnline’s advantage over other sportsbooks is its lightning-quick speed in getting odds up on their site. The service usually has lines first — and naturally, help set the line trends for other bookies to follow. This is the perfect platform for eager bettors ready to plunk down some money Sunday (for college football) or Tuesday morning (NFL).
Beyond that, BetOnline earns brownie points for reliable deposit and payout methods. Nearly every major credit card company is accepted on BetOnline — which is a rarity among most sportsbooks. Moreover, once you want to collect your winnings, BetOnline offers four different options for receiving your money in under 48 hours.
On the surface, 5Dimes is very modest. Its sign-up bonus is very meager. The website isn’t overly pleasing to the eye. However, the phrase “don’t knock it until you try it” sums up 5Dimes to a tee.
This no-frills platform not only has a bevy of betting lines, but some of the most competitive prices. This will make all the difference in football season when a half-point is the difference between a win and loss. Watch out for those 3.5 or 4.5 lines!
Best Online Sportsbooks For Live Betting
As Internet speeds ramp up, especially those on mobile devices, so does the popularity of live betting. This wagering feature has transitioned from a trend to permanent fixture among sportsbooks, who are always looking for ways to hold bettors attention. Still, some betting sites prioritize live bettering more than others.
The difference-maker when evaluating a sportsbooks commitment to live betting is the selection of games available for in-play wagering. It’s easy to have live lines for a Monday Night Football game, but how about some MACtion between two middle-of-the-road college foes on Wednesday night? Make sure to look into this closely.
It goes without saying that the actual mobile application will make or break the live betting experience. Here’s our top-three apps:
BetOnline: The service’s mobile app mirrors its desktop platform for in-game betting, offering lines for the “Big Four” professional leagues, as well as college football and hoops.
SportsBetting: Earlier we mentioned many sites offer a mobile bonus to download their mobile application, well SportsBetting is one of them. Upon downloading the app, users receive $50 in completely free play.
Bookmaker: The welcome bonus here is a 15 percent match of up to $2,500 on your first deposit. We don’t know about you, but we’re sold!
Best Online Sportsbooks For Cash-Out
Under the same umbrella as live betting, you’ll discover a nifty cash-out feature.
This allows you to “cash out” your bet for an adjusted price before the conclusion of the game. This feature might come in handy when your betting ticket is toast. No, you won’t get most of your money back, but something is better than nothing, right? Just don’t get mad if that team stages a miraculous comeback…
Some betting sites only offer cash out before a game, while others offer it in-game. This is obviously a huge difference, with the latter option being more preferable. Moreover, if you want to cancel a bet, some sportsbooks even allow you to choose how much of the original bet to retract — say you put $100 on the Patriots to cover -4.5, but want to leave only $20 to make the ending fun.
Online Sportsbooks FAQ
How do I get started with a betting site?
Once you’ve found a sportsbook that suits your needs, the sign-up process is pretty straight-forward and not unlike most you find on other websites — fill in your basic info, set-up a password, confirm email address, etc.
Which betting site has the best odds?
There’s no definitive answer here. Some sportsbooks have more favorable odds in one sport, but not another. You’ll really have to dig deep to find the best line for a particular game. However, using our top-5 sportsbook table found above is a good starting point.
How do I make a deposit?
Generally, most online betting sites offer two options — debit/credit card or check. VISA cards are the most-widely accepted, but it varies by sportsbook.
How long does a withdrawal take?
This one differs greatly among sportsbook. Withdrawals are largely made through mailed check or wire transfer. Mail is a much longer process, as betting sites are largely overseas. Our suggestion is to set-up a wire transfer using your bank account.
Are my winnings tax-free?
Simply put, if you report your winnings to the IRS, then yes, they could be taxable. If you don’t, then they’ll likely never know about it. This is your call.
Which bettings sites should I avoid?
Admittedly, online betting isn’t the most wholesome industry. That’s why we suggest looking up a sportsbook on our site before placing a wager, big or small. We offer reviews on many of the most-common sportsbooks. If we run into trouble with a platform, we’ll let our users know.